Saffron buns, or lussebullar as we say in Sweden

In Sweden we bake them, and eat them around Lucia the 13th of December. But we have actually eaten those saffron buns since the 17th Century. And during the 19th century they become a must when we celebrated Lucia. This is a great recipe for baking saffron buns or as we also call them saffron cats..


  • 50 gram yeast
  • 1 gram saffron
  • 175 gram butter
  • 2 dl sugar
  • 5 dl milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1,4 litre of plain flour, plus one for when you bake the saffron buns
  • Egg
  • Raisins


  1. Melt the butter
  2. Crumble down the yeast into a dough bowl.
  3. Crash to saffron with a little bit of the sugar into a powder using a mortar and a pestle.
  4. Add the saffron mix to the melted butter.
  5. Pour in the milk and make sure it’s 37°C.
  6. Add a little bit of the liquid ingredients to the yeast and mix.
  7. Add the rest of the liquid, sugar and salt.
  8. Add the flour and left the mixer work with the dough for around five minutes.
  9. Sprinkle some flower on top of the dough and let it rise under a towel for 40 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle some flour over the work surface and add the dough.
  11. Shape as you like.
  12. Add them to a baking tray and let them rise under a towel for 40 minutes.
  13. When they are rising put on the oven at 200°C.
  14. Brush the saffron buns with a beaten egg and add raisins to the buns if you like.
  15. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes depending on your oven.
  16. When you remove the buns from the oven let them cool down on a grid under a towel.

If you want a stronger saffron flavour then you can add the saffron to the liquids and let it simmer for while.


Recipe and photo Malin Nordblom, Fab Foodie Swede

If you wan’t to use the photos please e-mail me first at

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